Colon Cancer

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this disease and looks at some screening options.

Dr. Hill:

Colon cancer is an abnormal growth that can begin anywhere in the colon. It can spread to other parts of the body and lead to death. Colon cancer is common in both men and women.

Symptoms of colon cancer include blood in the stool; dark, tarry stool; stomach pain; or a change in bowel habits. Most people have no symptoms early in the disease, so routine screening for colon cancer is important.

Most people should begin colon cancer screening at 50 years of age; some doctors recommend that black people begin at 45 years of age because they are more likely to get the disease.

There are several kinds of screening tests, including stool testing, CT and colonoscopy. If you have a parent or sibling who had colon cancer when he or she was younger than 60 years, you should have a colonoscopy at 40 years old, or when you are 10 years younger than the age the family member was when diagnosed, whichever is earlier.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.